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Theda Plass

Oct 27, 1943 - Nov 28, 2023

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Battle Creek, MI

Theda A. Plass, 80 of Battle Creek, MI passed away on November 28, 2023 in her sleep. She was born on October 27, 1943 in Reed City, MI, the daughter of Albert and Avis Bauer. Theda graduated from Hackley School of Nursing in Muskegon and married John Plass of Detroit in 1971. She was a member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church and retired from the Veterans Administration Hospital in Battle Creek. Theda was an avid gardener and received numerous performance awards as well as outstanding rating cer...Read More

Obituary Source:https://www.baxterfuneral.com/memorials/theda-plass/5334154/obituary.php

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Edward Michael McBride

May 25, 1962 - Feb 15, 2024

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Battle Creek, MI

On Tuesday, February 20, 2024, Edward Michael McBride passed away peacefully at home. Edward was born in Detroit, Michigan on May 25, 1962. He was the only son of Carole and Charles McBride. He attended Harper Creek Schools. Ed joined the Army after high school. The Army took him to various places. He lived in Tennessee for a while in his younger adult years, moved back to Michigan for a little bit, and then moved to Texas where he worked in the oil fields. Eventually he found his way back to Battle Creek, Michigan, where he lived permanently until his passing. Ed spent the last couple years being a security officer for a couple local businesses. He enjoyed that job greatly. Edward was a one-of-a-kind soul, who loved life and did things in his own Edward way. Ed was a huge fan of Detroit Lions football and loved coming to Larry and Jaime’s house on Sundays to watch the game and eat dinner. Ed loved a good home-cooked meal especially biscuits and gravy. He loved kids, he was a bus driver for a few years for Battle Creek Public Schools and Pennfield Schools. He loved driving his Minis. He loved animals, but specifically dogs. He had a soft spot for dogs. He especially loved his dog, Morgana, and Larry & Jaime’s dog Chi-Chi. He rescued Chi-Chi and they had a forever special bond. Ed loved music and loved to sing! If he knew the song, he would be singing right along. He loved watching movies, and his Netflix shows. Ed loved his family and close friends. He loved spending time together; playing cards, kicking back, and having a few drinks. Edward was a good guy who if he loved you, he would do anything within his means to help you. He will be greatly missed. Edward is survived by his beloved mother, Carole McBride, whom he loved dearly; sisters, Cynthia Campbell and Barbara Bookmyer; nephews, Steven Campbell, Brody Fox, and Kaleb Fox; nieces, Madison Fox, and Gabrielle Bookmyer; adopted family, Larry and Jaime Burrett & kids, and friends. Ed was preceded in death by his father, Charles McBride. Edward wouldn’t have wanted a traditional funeral. There are no funeral arrangements being made, but instead the family will be holding a celebration of life at Baxter Funeral and Cremation Service on Monday, February 26, 2024, from 11:00 am to 3:00 p.m. Please come celebrate Ed’s life. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please send a donation in Ed’s honor to Calhoun County Animal Center at 165 S. Union Street, Battle Creek, MI 49014. Arrangements entrusted to the Baxter Funeral and Cremation Service, 269-788-9800. www.baxterfuneral.com

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Deborah Lynn Sheehy

Jul 03, 1953 - Feb 14, 2024

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Battle Creek, MI

Deborah "Debbie" Lynn Sheehy, 70, of Battle Creek, Michigan passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 surrounded by all who loved her. Debbie was born on Friday, July, 3, 1953 in Charleston, West Virginia, the daughter of Calvin Orville Persinger and Eunice Merle Meadows. Shortly after graduation, Debbie moved to Michigan and married Herbert "Mack" Blain. Debbie and Mack had three children together, Herbert Blain, Richie Blain and Misti Blain. Debbie and Mack eventually separated and Debbie married Michael Sheehy and spent 18 wonderful years together until he passed away in 2012. Debbie is survived by her former husband, Herbert "Mack" Blain; children, Herbert Blain, Misti Blain both of Battle Creek, MI and Richie Blain of Delton, MI; siblings, Sandra Carolyn Cole aka "Sister", Robert Eugene Persinger; grandchildren, Alexis Blain, Tiffany Evans, Calvin and Sienna; great grandchildren, Anya, Athena, Aria, Aura and Royce. Debbie is preceded in death by her parents, Calvin Orville Persinger and Eunice Merle Meadow; late husband, Michael Sheehy; siblings, Clarence Randall Persinger, Roger Dale Persinger aka "Jug Head". Debbie retired from being a nurse aide, but don't let that fool you she didn't like to stick to just one job. She also enjoyed working in restaurants, factories and doing housekeeping as well. Debbie did not like to sit still and was always doing something. She enjoyed hanging out with friends and family, having a good time, fishing, camping, karaoke, NASCAR and watching the Detroit Lions and Detroit Tigers. Debbie also enjoyed going to church and sipping on her sweet tea on those long hot summer days. There wasn't a moment that passed that Debbie wasn't trying to make someone smile. She was also very close to her sister, Sandy and her brother, Jug Head, but Debbie truly loved all of her siblings and talked with them daily. The children would like to thank Anica "AJ" Jones nurse aid through Centrica Care Hospice for the care that she provided to their mother in her time of need. Debbie loved to pick on AJ and give her a hard time and could sometimes be difficult to care for, but AJ never let her give up. The family will receive visitors on Saturday, February 24, 2024 from 3:00 - 4:00 pm at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, MI, for a celebration of life with Pastor Aubrey Porter officiating. When I am gone, release me- let me go. I have so many things to see and do. You must not tie yourself to me with tears. Be happy that we had so many years. I gave you love, you can only guess how much you gave me in happiness. I thank you for the love you have shown, but now it is time I travel alone. So grieve awhile for me if grieve you must, then let your grief be comforted by trust, it is only for a while that we must part so bless those memories within your heart. I will not be far away, for life goes on. So if you need me, call and I will come. Though you cannot see or touch me, I will be near and if you listen with your heart, you will hear all of my love around you, so soft and clear. Then when you must come this way alone, I will greet you with a smile and "Welcome Home". Arrangements entrusted to the Baxter Funeral and Cremation Service, 269-788-9800. www.baxterfuneral.com

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Martin James Thornburg

Aug 03, 1959 - Feb 13, 2024

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Battle Creek, MI

Martin "Flogger" James Thornburg, 64, of Athens, Michigan, passed away on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital. He was born on August 3, 1959, the son of James Richard Thornburg and Glenna Stella (Riley) Thornburg. Marty graduated from Athens High School with the Class of 1977. After high school he worked for Henkels Market and Vaughn Trucking, retired after 26 years from Denso Manufacturing and worked part time at Athens Auto Supply after retirement. He married the love of his life, Patricia Ann French in 1981 and the two have spent the remaining 42 years together. Martin is survived by his wife, Patricia (French) Thornburg; daughter, Melissa (Eric) Norris; brother, Arthur Thornburg; sister, Julie (PJ) Kitchen and brother-in-law, David (Wendy) French. He was preceded in death by his father, James Richard Thornburg. Marty was a car enthusiast and enjoyed attending car shows and going to the races with his brother, Art. He liked hunting, fishing and playing softball and football. Marty could socialize with anyone around him and loved to help out those in need. Marty loved his family and always made sure they had what they needed and were taken care of. He will truly be missed by all those that knew and loved him. A memorial service is currently being planned and dates are pending. Memorials may be made to the MECWARF VFW Post 5319, 120 Veterans Drive, Athens, MI 49011. Arrangements entrusted to the Baxter Funeral & Cremation Service. 269-788-9800. www.baxterfuneral.com

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James Earl Jones

Feb 13, 1943 - Feb 14, 2024

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null, MI

In loving memory of James Earl Jones "Pappy Jones", son of the late Reverend James and Lelia Mae Jones, long-time residents of Battle Creek, Michigan, was born on February 13, 1943 and went to be with the Lord on February 14, 2024. James attended Battle Creek Public School System. He was later married to Norma Jean Williams which produced his only son, Edwin Jones. James enjoyed fishing, playing Dominoes, cards, and spending time with family and friends. His laughter and joyful personality captured his loving spirit. James will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. James was preceded in death by his sister, Flora Jones; brother, Willie Jones; and nephew, Robert Jones. James leaves behind with cherished memories his son, Edwin Jones; 10 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great grandchildren; sisters, Ethel L. Jones of Battle Creek, Michigan, Lelia "Dee" (Melvin) Hunt of Stockbridge, Georgia, Mary Fisher of Texas; brothers, James L. (Gwendolyn Kay) Jones of Atlanta, Georgia, Alfred L. (Starling) Jones of Battle Creek, Michigan; aunt, China Lee Phipps of Detroit, Michigan and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends! Family Hour will take place on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 from 1:00 - 2:00 pm at the Baxter Funeral and Cremation Service with the celebration of life service to follow at 2:00 pm Arrangements entrusted to the Baxter Funeral and Cremation Service, 269-788-9800.

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Susan Lee Hayes

Sep 10, 1962 - Feb 02, 2024

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Battle Creek, MI

Susan Lee Hayes, born on September 10, 1962, passed away on February 2, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of love and compassion. She dedicated her life to caring for others, including her cherished dogs, volunteering at animal shelters, nurturing her beloved plants, and soaking up the sun during her boating adventures. Susan found immense joy in being a loving mother to her three daughters: Heather, Sarah, and Brittany. Her humor and boundless love touched the hearts of all who knew her. Susan had a lifelong passion for work, marked by dedication and service. From a young age, she embarked on a career path fueled by her love for helping others and her thirst for knowledge. Throughout her professional journey, Susan held various roles, each reflecting her commitment to making a difference. She started at Bronson Battle Creek, formerly Battle Creek Health System, in October 2000, and continued to serve in roles at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Susan’s work ethic, coupled with her genuine desire to meet new people and make meaningful contributions, made her a beloved and respected colleague. She was always eager to learn more and to make a positive impact in every role she undertook. Though she may be gone, her spirit lives on in the love and kindness she left behind. The world will never be the same without her infectious laugh, her warm hugs, and the delightful experience of seeing her dancing in the kitchen. A celebration of Susan’s life will be held on Sunday, March 3, from 1-4PM at Squirrel Hollow Golf Course, 12111 Helmer Rd S, Battle Creek, MI 49015. Arrangements entrusted to the Baxter Funeral and Cremation Service, 269-788-9800. www.baxterfuneral.com

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Ann Lawson

May 14, 1943 - Feb 07, 2024

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Battle Creek, MI

It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of our dear mother, Ann Lawson. Ann passed away on February 7, 2024 after battling a long illness. Ann was born on May 14, 1943 to Alice and Adelbert Bisel. She grew up in Nashville, Michigan where she enjoyed playing the piano, spending time outdoors, riding her horse and playing with her dog and cat. Ann worked as a Beautician before she settled down. She married James Lawson on May 16, 1964. Together they had 6 children. Ann devoted the rest of her life to her family. She was loving, patient, nurturing, gentle, charitable and forgiving. She loved animals, especially horses and cats. She had several cats throughout her life. They brought her so much joy and she doted on them all the time. Ann was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Through the church she served in the Young Women's Organization and worked as an Emergency Preparedness Advisor. Ann had an unwavering testimony of Jesus Christ. She relied on her faith to get her through the trials and tribulations in life. Ann spent her life caring for others. As a teenager, she helped care for her own ailing mother. She was a devoted wife and mother and her main concern was always for others. Ann was full of encouragement, grace, kindness and generosity. Ann spent her golden years surrounded by family. She enjoyed card games and Scrabble, loved to read books, listen to music and have movie night with her grandchildren. She is deeply loved by many and will be dearly missed. Ann was preceded in death by her parents, Alice and Adelbert Bisel and husband, James Kenneth Lawson. She leaves behind her favorite uncle, Vance Cheeseman; sons, John Lawson, Scott Lawson, Colin Lawson; daughters, Rachel (Gordan) McCowey, Hannah (Michael) McCouch, Sarah Jordan; grandchildren, Justin Henderson, Brandon Lawson, Kiera Lawson, John Lawson Jr., Jacob Haley, Niko Haley and Ashley McCouch. She also leaved behind her beloved cat, Esma. The family would like to thank Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E., Bronson Battle Creek Hospital 3rd Floor Staff and Select Specialty Hospital Staff for their excellent care for our mother during her final months. Arrangements entrusted to the Baxter Funeral and Cremation Service and we would like to thank them as well. Cremation has taken place and a private memorial will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made and appreciated to the Humane Society of South Central Michigan.

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Matthew Taylor Bish

Sep 07, 1989 - Feb 12, 2024

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Battle Creek, MI

Matthew Taylor Bish, 34, of Battle Creek, Michigan, passed away on February 12, 2024. He was born to Christie (Robert) Downs and the late Ronald A Bish on September 7, 1989, in the same city where he would later leave this world. From his early years, Matt's energetic spirit shone brightly. Whether it was playfully navigating the stairs in a laundry basket or exploring every nook of his neighborhood, his zest for life was evident. As a teenager, Matt's passions included skateboarding and the music of Good Charlotte, a combination that defined his formative years. His enthusiasm for collecting Pokémon Cards was unmatched as he had to "catch them all", as was his affection for all things Power Rangers-a childhood love that he proudly carried into adulthood. As Matt transitioned into fatherhood, his greatest joy was found in the laughter and companionship of his daughters, Riley and Zoey. His unwavering presence in their lives was marked by hours of shared fun playing Mario Kart and Roblox, creating cherished memories. Left to honor Matt's memory are his parents, Christie and Robert Downs; grandparents William (Bonnie) Bish, Connie (William) Shrubb, J.L. (Lori) Cope, and Roy (Ruth) Downs; great-grandmother Danine Colwell; siblings Sean (Amy) Bish, Nathan (Frankie) Hatch, Ronald Bish Jr, Marcia Bish, Jason-Lynn Cope, Tyler Minor, Jesi Minor, Maxine (Luis) Escamilla, Kendrick (Allie) Downs, and Sage Downs; and his daughters Riley and Zoey, along with their mother Tiffany Haas. Matt also leaves behind numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends Herb Haas and Jeff Madry. Preceding him in death were his great-grandmothers Vergie Kidney, Mildred Cope, and grandmother Patricia Pajak; father Ronald A. Bish Sr.; great-uncle Chuck Cotton; uncles Robert Bish and Don Bish; aunt Marcia Bish; and cousins Darci Ashley, Richard Cotton, and Wesley Cotton. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Friday, February 23, 2024, from 4 pm to 8 pm at Baxter Funeral Home, Battle Creek, Michigan, where friends and family are invited to share memories of Matt. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Matthew Bish Memorial Fund at Honor Credit Union to support the future education of his daughters. Donation envelopes will be available at the service. Baxter Funeral Home is providing compassionate care and assistance to the family during this time of remembrance. Matt's legacy of love, joy, and the treasured moments he shared with those around him will be deeply missed and forever remembered.

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Matthew Downing

Sep 30, 1956 - Feb 06, 2024

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Battle Creek, MI

Matthew Downing, son of Lena Downing and the late Matthew Moses Downing, Sr. Was born in Flint Michigan. Graduated from Flint Northern High School and Michigan State University. Survived by: Life Partner/Husband – Kerry Kurek, Mother - Lena Downing, Sister – Tracie Lynn Downing, and Brothers– Mark Downing & Gene Downing, Matthew Downing has worked for Montgomery Wards, TJMAX, Sams Club and ABC Wearhouse in Lansing and Portage MI. He volunteered in Battle Creek with Home Run Dog Park, BC Pride, Calhoun County Equality and Misfits Car Club, also was in a active leadership roles in in Detroit with BWMT Deroit and Midland Region.

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Nancy Ann Steely

Nov 20, 1930 - Feb 09, 2024

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Battle Creek, MI

Nancy Ann Steely was born on November 20, 1930 to W. Clyde and Helen E. Paddack in Lafayette, IN. She was the oldest of 2 children, her sister B. Joan Bennett being born 2.5 years later. Helen and Clyde were inventors and artists who brought out the creativity in (both) Nancy and Joan. Nancy attended Lafayette Jefferson High School and graduated in 1948. She excelled in music; playing saxophone in the band. Subsequent to high school, she attended Indiana University in Bloomington, IN obtaining a bachelor's degree in music education. Upon graduation, she accepted a teaching position with the local school system in Carrier Mills, IL. She married Robert Steely and moved to Indianapolis. She and Bob spent part of their honeymoon helping Helen and Clyde build a summer cabin on Ojibway Lake located 17 miles east of Ely, MN. After son Robin was born in 1956, the family moved to Battle Creek, MI where Bob took a teaching position at Battle Creek Central High School. Son Kevin was born in 1958. In 1960, the family leased a lot from the US Forest Service next door to Helen and Clyde on Ojibway Lake near Ely. They commenced construction on their own summer cabin. Summers were always fun for the boys as their parents, being educators, moved the family to the lake for the summers. Every summer, they left in June and returned just before school began in September. Summers were filled with side trips to the east coast, Canadian Rockies, and parts in between with a pop-up camper. In 1966, Nancy elected to re-enter the workforce and was hired at Pennfield Schools near Battle Creek teaching 5th and 6th grade bands, junior high bands and elementary music. She was responsible for starting all band students on their first instruments – teaching the fundamentals of being in a band. She started Robin on saxophone. During her tenure at Pennfield Schools, numerous students would show up at the house for private saxophone, clarinet, and flute lessons. She even worked with some trombone students. During this time, she finished a master’s degree at Western Michigan University. In 1978, she left Pennfield Schools to oversee the entire music program at Battle Creek Academy. She had all of the elementary students in classroom music classes and 3 bands – 5th grade, 6-7th grades junior band, and 8-12 senior band. Her bands enjoyed 95% student participation. Nancy’s senior bands traveled all over the Midwest and eastern United States performing in churches and auditoriums for competitions and festivals, consistently achieving high honors for performance. In addition to her educational activities, she started a handbell choir at the Battle Creek Tabernacle, traveling with them to Europe for performances. In the 1990’s, Nancy and friend Carol Taylor built a small log home on 4 acres in Battle Creek where they lived for many years. Summers were spent at the Ely cabin. In the late 1990s, Nancy sold the Ely cabin (built during 1960-62 with former husband Bob). Subsequently, she purchased her parents’ cabin located on the adjacent lot. Nancy installed electric service, remodeled and modernized the cabin to render it suitable to 4-5 months living. Nancy loved to fish; a great joy was having her grandchildren come and spend a few weeks with her at the lake. Canoe trips and fishing trips were the norm as well as stops at the local Dairy Queen. In the meantime (when in Battle Creek) she would guest-conduct at Battle Creek Academy. She would also teach students privately during her retirement. Nancy was involved in music at the Battle Creek Tabernacle, directed the church choir at Pennfield Presbyterian church, served on the Battle Creek Prayer committee, and ushered for the annual Brass Band Concert in Battle Creek. She delighted in hearing her granddaughters, Kara and Bailey playing the clarinet and saxophone. Nancy was privileged to conduct bands in which grandchildren, Tori, Morgan and Logan played. She was a member of the Battle Creek Tabernacle, participating in musical productions and Bible study. Nancy was honored on December 6, 2021 for her many contributions to Battle Creek Academy. Faculty, (former) students & friends celebrated her service; naming the Nancy Steely Performing Arts Rehearsal Hall. In 2022, she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Battle Creek Academy. A former student, Dr. Denise Santos-English commissioned the "March Grande Dame" by Mark Grauer. Many former students recorded their particular parts (due to Covid restrictions) and recorded the premier performances of the work. This was a special thrill. Her first love was summers spent at the Minnesota cabin where she had many close friends. She was privileged to return there for a brief visit in summer 2023. She is survived by sons, Robin (Adell) Steely and Kevin (Denise) Steely; grandchildren, Kara Steely, Bailey (Akyeme) Reese, Tori (Jesse) Steely, Morgan (Christianna) Steely, and Logan (Tinelle) Steely; plus 4 great grandchildren. Preceding her in death were her parents and an infant grandson. Memorial contributions may be made to Battle Creek Academy. At her request, cremation has taken place and a memorial service is planned for a later date. Arrangements entrusted to the Baxter Funeral and Cremation Service, 269-788-9800. www.baxterfuneral.com

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Rosetta Brewer

Apr 29, 1960 - Feb 05, 2024

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Battle Creek, MI

Rosetta Brewer passed away on Monday, February 5, 2024 at her home with her family by her side. Rosetta was born in Istanbul, Turkey on April 29, 1960, as the oldest of three children to her parents, Kenneth Brewer of Florida and Gular Smith of Battle Creek, MI. Rosetta attended Battle Creek Public Schools and graduated from Battle Creek High School. She began her employment in the nursing field working at the Laurels of Bedford and later employed at the Veteran Affairs Hospital until her retirement. While working, Rosetta also known as "Mama Roe" did what she loved to do and that was help the people of her community. She was a co-founder of Parents Against Gang Violence, a program that was created to save the young men in the community from going to prison and many other tragic events that are taking place in the world today. She made sure these young men had jobs, stayed in school and off the streets through this program. She was the creator of Peace in the Park, where she made sure that our babies and young children remain safe while playing at the city parks such as Washington Heights with the RISE Program. She held events every year for going back to school, giving away backpacks stuffed with school supplies and Trick-A-Trunk. Rosetta was also the founder of Sharing in Those Enforcing Victims' Rights Shamelessly (SISTERS) this non-profit was support for mothers who had lost children to death. These programs were in memory of her son, Frank "BAM" Williams who was tragically killed in 2006 to gun violence. Rosetta always said she did not want another mother to suffer like she did from losing a child to gun violence. She stayed in the community raising awareness and working with many Battle Creek city officials to help keep our community safe. Rosetta loved spending time with her grandchildren and family. She enjoyed sitting at the beach and watching the sunset, traveling on cruises, reading, shopping and always looking for more ways to help the community for the better. Rosetta is survived by her parents, Kenneth Brewer and Gular Smith; son, Erol Williams of Battle Creek; daughter, Latia (Carlos) Williams of Battle Creek; grandchildren, Carnisha Stanley, Centell Williams, Skyveion Williams, Kaniya Williams, Jayvion Williams, KhyAir Williams, Kyreese Joyner, Lamont Joyner, Tyrell Taylor, Kypree Joyner, Elijah Glass, Carlos Williams II, Carlito Williams, Carlon Williams, Kiyona Williams; brothers, Todd Smith, Deopolis Smith; special uncle, Billy Brewer; special daughters, Shaunae McGee, Danelle McCord, Stephonia Brown, Kameela Harris; special cousins, Renee Canelas, Robin Burch, Trina Brewer; best friend, Donna Fry; special sisters, Julie Haymar, Eve McCord, Diane Young, Shannon Brown. She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Rosetta Brewer from whom she was named after; son, Frank Williams III; and special aunt, Linda Griffin. Rosetta had a host of nieces, nephews and several bonus daughters and sons who loved her dearly. She will truly be missed by never ever forgotten. Upon the wishes of Rosetta Brewer and with the utmost respect cremation services will take place with Baxter Funeral and Cremation Service with a memorial service to come for family and friends. A memorial service will be held at the Kingdom Builders Worldwide on February 17, 2024 starting at 12:00 pm with Bishop Tino Smith officiating. Arrangements entrusted to the Baxter Funeral and Cremation Service, 269-788-9800. www.baxterfuneral.com

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